Cuts to the opening hours of railway stations across Sussex including Eastbourne have been confirmed by rail operators.
Govia Thameslink Railway, which runs the Southern and Thameslink franchises, is proposing to close ticket offices at Falmer and Lancing with passengers instead buying their tickets from self-service machines or ‘station hosts’ located on concourses.
Meanwhile many stations will see ticket office opening hours reduced to 7-10am Monday to Friday, including those at Angerming, Barnham, Bexhill, Bognor Regis, Burgess Hill, Chichester, East Grinstead, Eastbourne, Hassocks, Horley, Horsham, Hove, Lewes, Littlehampton, Polegate, Portslade, and Shoreham.
Cralwey will be open from 8-11am, Portslade will be open from 8.55-10am, with Worthing open from 7.30-10.30am.
Meanwhile station hosts will operate during the day.
The concept will be ‘soft launched’ at a small number of stations towards the end of the summer before being rolled across all the affected locations.
GTR consulted on the plans earlier this year, which drew opposition from rail users, politicians, and unions.
According to GTR it has committed to both ensuring that ticket availability will not be reduced from current levels, and passengers do not have to wait longer than they do today to buy a ticket.
Keith Jipps, passenger service director at GTR, said: “We appreciate the assistance and views of Transport Focus and London TravelWatch and for their support for our plans going forward. We think the consultation has been a success as we’ve been able to listen to our passengers and modify our proposals to meet their needs now and in the future.
“We believe our new station hosts will be of great benefit to our passengers, providing assistance for more hours each day with the same tickets available as today.”
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